Escapism as a Positive

January 13, 2010 -

Using Avatar as a benchmark, a USA Today opinion piece praises the mainstream adoption of fantasy in media such as movies, novels and videogames.

The author wonders if the popularity of World of Warcraft, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter indicates that today’s society is obsessed with escapism, or the ability to leave the real-world behind for the chance to immerse oneself in a fantasy world.

The scribe answers with a resounding no, and offers a positive spin on the new state of geek (and gaming) culture:

I've met hundreds of gamers and geeks. Their reasons for embracing fantasy and gaming aren't about mindless escapism. Games teach social skills, leadership and strategy; they inspire creativity and storytelling.

They provide rites of passage, accomplishment and belonging, even belief systems. They let people safely try out aspects of their personalities — often dark, evil sides, or extroverted or flirtatious — that they can't or won't flex in "real life." The games connect folks to magical thinking, to nature, to a primal, pick-up-your-battle-ax and kill mentalities long suppressed by so-called society.


As an added bonus, the author writes, the ability to insert ourselves into a different world—even if only for a short time—allows us to mitigate the “minutiae of our modern, mundane troubles.”

Amen.


Comments

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I agree w/hellfire here. There is nothing wrong w/escapism. That reminds me of what I read in my Cosmopolitan magazine about how daydreaming is healthy for you b/c you think of diff ways to go about situations or think about your problems or what you will say to your boss about how to get a raise & so on. So escapism is good for everyone. I would rather be addicted to escapism in a game rather than worrying every single minute & day & hour about my problems I have. It is just like a drug only interactive & not hurting me. :)

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I'm getting the feeling that many anti game types do hate the escapism part. They know that escapism is a way to escape the stresses and depressing factors of the serious world, adn think we all need to be as serious, depressed and stressed as they are all the time.

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I think most people would already know this simple fact.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Escapism as a Positive

Hey "parents", what exactly is wrong with "escapism?"

Main Entry: es·cap·ism
Pronunciation: \is-ˈkā-ˌpi-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1933

: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine

Sounds healthy to me.

Yes, I am a proud parent of two burgeoning (maybe a little skinny) gamers.

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I'm also the proud parent of 2 young gamers! we should have a play date! i've got a wii!

on topic though, i dont agree with this article at all. Escapism in MMO's exists because these games offer a world with rather simple and easy to control rules. If i play, i win. I know what it takes to get that next level, that next item, and it's very rarely that anyone can take that away from me. if i fail, i know why, and i know how to get better.

Compare that to real life, where i can get fired because the boss's wife doesn't like my haircut, and you start to realize why people are comforted to be in a world with simple rules.

Re: Escapism as a Positive

Was about to bring up that point myself, and how in the workaday your basicly expected to act like a meat robot with no intitive(sp?) or emotions except maybe the cheerfully helpful moron. No wonder people like to go online and blow the F(&K out of stuff. If I didn't I'd probably beat half the idiots i've dealt with working retail.

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Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
 

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